CART0 items
Back to all reviews

How to choose a laptop: brand, size, specifications and keyboard?


If you want to buy a laptop, first of all you should pay attention on specifications.Brand is not the most important. Sometimes devices with Apple, ASUS, HP, Aser logo have Intel, Nvidia, AMD details. 

There are different kinds of laptops: for work, multimedia, gaming or multi-purpose. If you want to carry it, choose ultra-thin ultrabook as HP Envy 13-J002.

 netbooks.jpg

Screen Size: 12 to 18.3 inches

How to choose the best screen size? Normal size is 15.6 inches. But if you have to work with graphics programs, you should choose 17,3-18,4 inches screen. Netbook with 12 inches screen size is the best one for traveling over long distances, communication in social networks and reading news.

Dimensions. The most popular dimesions of laptops are 16 × 9 or 16 × 10. Dimensions of 5 × 4 and 4 × 3 are dated.

 

netbook.jpg

Screen Type: glossy and matte, traditional and touch screen

There are 2 main types of screen: glossy and matte. The first one is the best for universal and multimedia laptops, the second - for the work (no glare, the picture is not so bright and saturated). Resolution - HD (1280 × 720) or FullHD (1920 × 1080). The larger the screen, the greater the resolution. The most popular laptops have touch screen, like the Asus tablet. Some users find this option unnecessary. If you want a touch screen, you should select the tablet, it's cheaper. 

 

Matrix type: TN + film, IPS, PLS or MVA?

1. TN + film is easier than all others and it has a minimum response time (the time during which the pixel changes its brightness), which is important for gamers. But minus is a small viewing angle - 160˚, and the average quality of color and image.

2. IPS (TFT) is more expensive than TN + film, but it has a larger viewing angle - 178˚ and the most realistic picture. The disadvantages include higher response times and high power consumption.

3. PLS has become a good alternative of IPS. This matrix has realistic color reproduction, excellent brightness and viewing angle, low power consumption. But it also has great response time and lack of contrast.

4. MVA costs as TN + film.The main characteristics are like in IPS.

 hp-envy-13-j002.jpg

Processor: Intel or AMD?

US Intel processors provide longer operation of the device, because they consume less power. In addition, most of the games are optimized for Intel. But these processors are at $ 100-200 more expensive than AMD chips, and at the same time Intel processors can operate normally only with two powerful applications. Canadian Processor AMD can work directly with 3-4 and powerful applications. They are multiplatform (old chip can be replaced without changing a new motherboard). But AMD works more noisy and can slow down, if the application is designed for Intel. It's not the best core for gamers.

Quantity of cores - 2 or 4. 2 cores is the best for work or study. You will need 4 cores if you are going to play the new games very often. Pay attention on the processor's frequency. The higher it is, the more efficient the device is and the card is faster. But for simple surfing the web and working in office apps it does not matter.

 

Keyboard Type: soft or hard, full-size and smaller, long or short button move

Much attention should be paid to the keyboard, if you plan to type large texts. It is important for students, journalists, copywriters.

If there is a distance of 19 mm between the centers of adjacent keys, it is the traditional full-size keys. You can find it in laptops 15-18,4 inches screen. If there is 12 inches screen, the keyboard is less.

There are different types of buttons move: soft or hard, noisy or not. There are also long or short buttons moves - the distance which passes the button cap while pushing. Long move is more comfortable for fingers.

The touchpad may be usual or multitouch (the cursor responds to the move of several fingers). If you have multitouch touchpad, you can scroll or zoom with two fingers easily.

The buttons are illuminated in expensive laptops, but in different ways: in some places, along the perimeter or inside. You need backlight, if you work with laptop at night.

 netbook-asus-transformer-book.jpg

RAM: 2, 4, 6, 8 or 16 GB

You can find 2 GB of RAM only in netbooks nowadays. That's enough 4GB of RAM for universal and work laptops, as in Lenovo B40-80. But if you like gaming,you need 6 or even 8 GB RAM laptops.

If you plan to work in intensive graphics apps, choose 16 GB. If RAM is not enough, the system compensates it with the hard disk memory. But it works more slowly, so the app will slow down.

If the RAM module is built into the motherboard, it can not be replaced. But most models are increasing the RAM, if necessary.

 

Hard Drive: 320 GB to 1 TB

The best amount of hard disk memory HDD - from 320 GB to 1 TB. Today, even low-cost Laptops have Hard Drives 500 GB, netbooks - 320 GB.

If the laptop should work offline for a long time, you should choose a maximum of 500 GB RAM, because device with RAM 1 TB consumes a lot of energy.

The advanced models have 2 hard drives: one standard HDD for the bulk of the information, and the second SSD for storing frequently used and most demanding apps. Sufficient size of smaller drive - 8 GB, but there are also on 16 and 32 GB. And the SSD is also installed after purchase of the laptop - models with screen size of 17 inches usually have 1 or 2 additional HDD-slot.

 lenovo-b40-80.jpg

Operating System: Linux, Windows 8, or Windows 10

The notebook doesn't always have pre-installed DOS. In this case, after buying a laptop you should install Windows 8 or 10. Aser produce laptops with already pre-installed Windows. Just buy and enjoy it.

Some manufacturers make laptops based on Linux. It is less popular OS, so users often remove it and put Windows. Their interfaces are similar, but Windows has more apps.

 

 

Battery life of 8-10 hours

Laptops often have removable lithium-ion batteries with low self-discharge and memory effect. They were originally designed for 600 charge / discharge cycles.

Time operation of a laptop on a single battery charge is important for travelers or people who often work outside the home / office. 

 

 netbook-apple-macbook-pro-15-mb470.jpg

Body: plastic or aluminum?

Body consists of a metal frame and an outer plastic shell. The high-cost laptops have all-metal-Unibody case. Sometimes it is made from polycarbonate. These ultra-thin laptops have no seams.

Aluminum laptops are heated less than plastic. At the same time fingerprints are visible on the glossy surfaces of both materials. There is no such problem in matt and relief corps.

You should choose a laptop in terms of price / quality. For $ 200, you can buy only a netbook now. There are mid-cost laptops for $ 300-500. This is the best solution if you need a universal laptop for all occasions. The cost of popular laptops starts at $ 800. Before making a choice, you should learn the basic specifications of the device.